Google+ Android App, Real-life Sharing Rethought for Mobile
The Google+ Android App makes sharing “the right things with the right people a lot simpler.”
- Version: 1.0.2
- Size: 2.82MB (no apps2SD)
- Category: Social
- Price: Free
Note: Google+ (Google Plus) is still in active development (read: beta) and isn’t publicly released just yet. You’ll need an invite from an existing user to gain access.
If you’re just starting out with Google+, you’ll first want to organize your contacts into different Circles (to add new contacts, search by name/email or browse the “view suggested people”). Circles act like content filters, enabling you to share information with one group of people but not another. The default Circles are Acquaintances, Colleagues, Friends, and Family. You can edit, add, or remove Circles but only in the Google+ browser version (I added Circles for Android and Tech right off the bat!).
If you’ve used Facebook, you’ll likely recognize and understand the basic idea of the stream. Stream displays the chronological, consolidated list of the latest posts, messages, photos, etc. from all of your Circles. Tapping on an individual item opens it so that you can view all comments, add one yourself, or +1 the original item. Plus, from the main stream screen, you can swipe to the right to view all public posts nearby or swipe to your left to view incoming posts from people not currently in any of your Circles.
One of the coolest features of Google+ is its handling of Photos (both yours and those shared with you by your Circles). By default, there are folders for “photos from your Circles”, “photos of you” (tagged), “your albums”, and “from your phone.” The “from your phone” folder even allows you to automatically upload pictures immediately after you have snapped them. Of course, these photos are all private until you decide which ones you’d like to share. Sharing photos has never required fewer steps or less time.
Another exciting feature is Huddle which works much like the GroupMe Android app but all within Google+. Huddle allows you to text/chat in groups so that each person sees every message and is constantly in the loop. The Huddle functionality is perfect for things like organizing dinner plans with friends or discussing a live sporting event even as you and your friends watch separately. To get started, all you have to do is type in the name, email, or Circle of people you want to start huddling with.
Lastly, use the Profile section to view the personal details you’ve entered, e.g. introduction, contact info, and employment/education. This section also gives you a quick way to reference past posts and photos you’ve shared with others through Google+.
- Alternative social media network that will only get better with time
- Share information on a per-item basis with Circles
- Text message in groups with Huddle
- Instantly upload photos to a private folder as you take them, share with ease
Areas for improvement:
- Ability to edit your Profile and create new Circles from within the app
- Option to view photos by individual/Circle in the “from your circles” folder
Conclusion: The Google+ Android app is a nearly full-featured Google Plus hub (even in its beta form), letting you network, group message, and share with exceptional ease.
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